(Image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox)
Foothill Technology High School

Review: ‘Joy’ is a captivating and emotional film

“Joy” is not your typical film. Starring the Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and directed by David O. Russell, the movie brings light to the emotional true story of entrepreneur Joy Mangano, inventor of the “Miracle Mop.” Lawrence’s performance delivers and empowers the story, though the movie itself lacks in plot and other performances by well-known actors.

The movie begins by oddly setting the scene for the movie; the opening sequence being part of a soap opera on TV. Then Joy, as a young girl, tells her sister that she will make inventions one day.

Soon after, the audience is thrown into details of Joy’s unusual family: her lonely divorced mother who rarely leaves the house, ex-husband who still lives in the basement, argumentative divorced father who hates Joy’s ex-husband, jealous step-sister, and two children.

It takes over thirty minutes of setup and background information until the actual plot-line is revealed: Joy has come up with a revolutionary idea that she believes can be successful and help provide for her family.

As the movie progresses, Joy strives to have her invention manufactured and sold to large department stores, even if she must risk everything she loves.

The rest of the film is an emotional roller coaster, filling you with hope and then a sense of betrayal.



Lawrence’s astonishing and flawless acting enthralls the audience, never dropping their attention. She brings light and comedy to situations her character is forced into, even sending chills down your spine. But other notable actors, such as Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper, fail to meet their standards both previously set.

De Niro, who plays Joy’s loud father, remains a flat character throughout the movie. His character is loud, obnoxious and annoying, not displaying any of De Niro’s actual talent.

Cooper, who plays Joy’s business partner, is also dormant and his skills are not displayed as they were in the “Silver Linings Playbook” where he was nominated for an Academy Award.

Luckily, the absence of high talent from few actors does not take away from the overall enjoyable essence of the film. In certain comical scenes, the film will have audiences laughing and cheering on Lawrence’s character.

I believe the introduction could have been shorter, which would have allowed more time for the story and characters to develop further and create an even better film; one critics and fans would enjoy more.

Overall, “Joy” is a light-hearted and entertaining movie that will keep you interested and captivate you with Lawrence’s talent. It is safe to say that Lawrence makes the movie what it is; without her, it would not be as successful.

“Joy” is sure to satisfy audiences and is in theaters now.



–Joshua Modglin